Opera Leggera returns to Nathaniel Center stage for Broadway revival


The theatre company has been entertaining audiences in the Lake Houston area for 17 years and the Broadway musical revue has proven to be a staple.

Originally organized as an opera company in 2005 by Chris and Sasha Holloway, the repertoire for the company has expanded and evolved into more musical and theatrical experiences, jazz, the American Songbook, to a world of Latin and country music.

“We are thrilled to reprise this production after it received such an enthusiastic response from Lake Houston audiences when it first premiered in 2017,” said Hannah Holloway, development manager of Opera Leggera.

Both of Hannah’s parents were professional opera singers and their original roots were steeped in the opera world.

“We still sprinkle in some opera from time to time,” Hannah said, “but the music is now more encompassing.”

Hits from “Oklahoma,” “My Fair Lady,” “Fiddler on The Roof,” “Hello Dolly” among others will showcase a cast of professional singers as well as emerging artists.

“We have some recent college graduates and wanted to give them a platform to showcase their talents,” she said.

The performances aren’t just a standup concert but incorporate some of the actual dramatic text and choreography from the scenes of the musicals.

“It also includes beautiful costumes and a professionally built set,” she said.

With rising inflation and untenable gas prices, Holloway said this was their effort to make great music available.

“It’s become more of an obstacle for patrons to go downtown and experience the arts. We want to meet that need for our growing audience,” she said.

The production company has a solid investment in the Lake Houston area outside of the performances with their support of the Holocaust Remembrance March and Holocaust Garden of Hope.

Holloway said the cast rehearses at the Nathaniel Center and hosts auditions throughout the year.

“There’s a form on our website that they can fill out and submit and we will set up an audition for anyone who’s interested in performing with us,” she said.

Holloway said that was their avenue for discovering incredible talent in the area.

“We have them from Lake Houston, Sugar Land, Katy, The Woodlands, and our accompanist used to live in Austin and would travel here once or twice a week for rehearsals. That’s dedication!” she said.

“We’re always looking for passionate, talented performers who will share their gifts with our audiences,” she smiled.

The performances also include other artists, including Ernesto Vega, a Cuban musician who has been with the company for several years.

“He’s just brilliant,” Holloway said.

“Our community continues to grow, and we would like nothing more than to have an even greater impact on the cultural arts scene in our area,” she said.

To that extent, the organization is fostering relationships with area retirement homes, women’s shelters, and centers for adults and children with disabilities to share their gift of musical theatre with these groups.

The concerts fall on the same weekend as their 17th anniversary; their first performance at the Nathaniel Center was on July 15, 2005.

Tickets range from $20-$25 and can be purchased online at www.operaleggera.com or by dialing 713-992-1696. The Nathaniel Center is located at 804 Russell Palmer Rd. in Kingwood.

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